From the Nevada desert to London’s Euston Road, artist David Normal has brought the British Library’s collections to life in an ‘epic suite’ of murals called Crossroads of Curiosity.
Originally created for 2014’s Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, David Normal used Victorian Era book illustrations exclusively from the British Library’s digitised collections to create the artwork. Beginning as black and white collages, the four pieces which make up the artwork were developed into 8’ x 20’ lightbox murals that were arrayed around the base of the Burning Man effigy to support the 2014 festival’s theme, ‘Caravansary’.
The installation incorporates an augmented reality self-guided tour that will allow viewers to explore the meaning and origins of the painting’s symbols using Blippar. Visitors can scan the murals using cameras on a phone to call up the collage source material on the phone’s screen and then interact with the artist’s interpretations.
The work was unveiled in the Library’s piazza at a party on Saturday 20th June, the eve of the summer solstice, with DJ Yoda and founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey, in attendance.
Visual artist David Normal, said: “Who would have guessed that a few obscure digital images, seemingly so insubstantial, could combine to form new meanings with such resonance that they are presented on a monumental scale? It demonstrates the inspiring power and importance of digitised library collections. Now the murals literally sit above the books from which their images derived – a kind of poetic justice fittingly within The Poet’s Circle on the Library’s piazza.”
The installation, Crossroads of Curiosity, will be displayed on the British Library’s piazza from today until 8th November and is free to the public.
The British Library
96 Euston Road